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A Few New Additions, Changes, and Optimizations

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Site RedecoratedOk, so last night, instead of putting my new processor and motherboard into my computer (the upgrades can wait a few hours), I spent that time optimizing my website a bit. I was able to accomplish some pretty amazing results:

Optimization Upgrades:

  1. Change WordPress Themes – I wanted to switch the theme to something “lighter” than the one I previously had. I wasn’t using all the features so there were a lot of resources being wasted – I switched to CatchBox.
    Don’t get me wrong; I loved the theme I had before (Newsroom by WPBandit); I just don’t see the point in using built-in SEO features if I use a plugin (SEO Ultimate) to manage my on-page SEO.
    The switch in themes brought my Page Speed up by about 20%!
  2. Using the PageSpeed Insights app by Google, I was able to pinpoint what factors were slowing down my page load time (such as iframes, etc.), and replace them with images and direct links where possible.
  3. I also enabled Caching and Page Compression on this website using the plugin W3 Total Cache; this improved my Page Speed quite a bit as well.
    Overall, my pagespeed score is more than double what it was before and as I write this, I’m sitting at a very comfortable score of 91 for my home page (a very good thing). The inner pages will be slightly slower loading simply because of the “like/share” buttons.

User Experience Upgrades

  1. I went with the simpler theme that (at least in my opinion) looks easier on the eyes.
  2. I’ve customized the sidebar a bit (I know I have more work to do in that department, like add categories; that will come *soon* after the re-brand) to not be as cluttered.
  3. I’ve replaced my previous social sharing app (Share-a-holic) plugin with Digg Digg by Bufferapp; this gave me a few more points on the PageSpeed scale after some modifications as well.
  4. The sidebar saw a new additions
    - Affiliate link ads (125×125 blocks).
    - A neater emailing list subscribe option.
  5. “Prettified” the Social Sharing buttons by turning on the side-scrolling share bar (Digg Digg plugin) and prettier “boxy” buttons at the bottoms of the post(s).

Goals / Conversions Optimization

I’m not super famous, nor am I super well known; I don’t get people flooding my website and subscribing to my mailing list (which I don’t use very often; planning on fixing that soon though!)… I do, however, provide a useful resource, and get people subscribing to my mailing list on a daily basis. My gripe with the previous design was that I was not able to show off the sign-up form very easily before. That’s changed.

I’ve set two widgets to scroll with the page after a certain amount of scrolling… As a matter of fact, by the time you’re reading this sentence, you should already see what I’m talking about on your right – The Ads widget and the Mailing List widget should both be scrolling with the screen.

The changes I’ve done to improve my goals and conversions are:

  1. Installing the Q2w3 “Fixed Widget” plugin that allows me to force my widgets to scroll with the screen.
  2. “Prettified” some of the CSS around the Mailing List form (and a few other subtle tweaks to the theme).
  3. The page load speeds are also meant for visitor conversions; I will report on how these changes affected the mailing list sign-up conversions soon.

What do you think of the new design and speed? Do you see anything else that I need to fix?

Thank you for reading.

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This post (and account is from the older (archived) version of AllStuffWeb.com. By older, I mean the time back when this was a simple(r) blog without the courses and forum. I've decided to keep all the old posts simply because there is still good content in them. Having said that, I will be going through and editing some of the old posts to update them and bring them into the V2 blog. If you're seeing this message at the bottom of the post, it means that I haven't updated this post yet. Message Written on 10/1/13

2 Responses to “A Few New Additions, Changes, and Optimizations”

By Phil - 6 July 2013 Reply

Hey,

it’s interesting how you managed to boost your page speed this much. That’s an issue on my blog right now, but I love my current theme :-)

Your fixed widget causes a small issue (I’m on an Ipad right now) with scrolling on mobile devices, maybe you want to check it. Also commentluv isn’t working…

Thanks for this interesting post,

Phil

By Serge - 6 July 2013 Reply

Heya Phil. Thanks for the comment :)

Yeah, that was the hard thing for me: Switching Themes. I’ve always liked the limited-width yet still responsive theme though, so when I found this one, I was set.

I didn’t notice that the Fixed Widget plugin causes issues; I will have to look into that, as well as Comment Luv… It might have to do with Caching (which, if that’s the case, I might turn off those two plugins…

Thanks for the heads up, Phil. I’ve included a link to your home page anyways (to compensate for CommentLuv not doing its’ due diligence ;)

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